You may ask, “How can I be responsible when I’m the one abused, hurt, or ‘sinned against’?”
One of my former patients, Eddie, was an abandoned and abused child. In his childhood years, he remembers constantly being beaten up by his father and verbally abused by his mother. When he reached high school, his parents separated and left him to the care of neighbors, totally unsupported.
In response, Eddie grew up feeling so angry, bitter, and resentful towards his parents. Sooner, he found himself in the company of criminal gangs. He became addicted to shabu and smoking and got drunk almost each day to numb the pain he’s experiencing. One day, in a police buy-bust drug operation, he was arrested and put to jail.
If you’ve been abused, hurt, or criminally victimized by someone at any stage in your life, you have no responsibility for the event itself. It’s outside your control. The issue is not about what has happened to you. However, you are personally responsible and accountable about how you choose to respond from there on. Someone overpowered and wounded you by subjecting you to abuse, whether physically, psychologically, emotionally, or financially. You regain power through your response.
In the aftermath of trauma or destructive events in your life, avoid confusing “blame” with “personal responsibility.” You are personally responsible and accountable for the following:
* what you choose to believe or decide about your self after the experience
* how the experience influences your relationships and your life today
* what attitudes and impressions you develop about other people
* how frequent that experience from the past gets replayed in your brain, distorts your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors
Your choice. Listen to your self conversation. Take opportunity to see how you choose to respond to your life experiences. Remember, a key is to do so without blame of self and others.